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“Every Child Deserves a 5th Birthday” Campaign Begins

The US Agency for International Development (USAID), a member organization of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health has launched their “Every Child Deserves a 5th Birthday” campaign this week.  According to the website, fifth birthdays are regarded as a milestone birthday after which one is much more likely to survive into adulthood. Seven million children die before their fifth birthday, and many of these are preventable deaths in developing countries. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Traditionally Attending Birth – Promoting Maternal Health Today

By Kate Ixer; Health Poverty Action is a winner of the Women Deliver 50.

TBAHealthPovertyAction.JPGIn April 2010, Sierra Leone introduced free health care for pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers to help reduce the maternal mortality and morbidity rate. Almost two years on from this watershed significant improvements have been made and many women have received the health care which they previously would not have been able to afford. Sierra Leone, a country where 70% of the population is living in extreme poverty, illustrates that free health care is crucial to improving women’s health rights. Read more... 

Healthy Mother, Healthy Newborn

by Shafia Rashid; Originally posted on The FCI Blog

HealthyMotherHealthyNewborn.jpgThere is ample evidence illustrating that the health of a woman and her newborn baby are intimately connected. We know that:

  • most maternal and newborn deaths are caused by the mother’s poor health before or during pregnancy or due to inadequate care in the critical hours, days, and weeks after birth
  • when a woman dies in childbirth, her newborn baby is less likely to survive

Recent research conducted by Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta and colleagues at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan confirms what we already know, and goes one step further: it identifies which maternal and newborn health interventions benefit both mother and newborn. These include: Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Storytelling for Health and Empowerment

By Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

PeruPregnancyHistories.jpg Future Generations’ “Between Us (Women): Sharing Pregnancy Histories as Part of Community Education for Maternal and Neonatal Health” is about far more than just telling stories.

The innovative program—which is currently being tested in Peru by Future Generations—is designed to help women share their voices and experiences with others to save the lives of mothers and newborns living in some of the remotest regions in the Latin American country. Read more...

UN Launches Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children

NEW YORK, 23 March 2012 – UNICEF and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, today launched a high-level commission to improve access to essential but overlooked health supplies that could save the lives of millions of women and children every year.

“Making sure that women and children have the medicines and other supplies they need is critical for our push to achieve the MDGs,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The Commission will tackle an overlooked but vital aspect of health systems, and ensure that women and children are protected from preventable causes of death and disease.” Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Solar Energy for Safer Births

By: Rati Bishnoi, Women Deliver

Saving the lives of mothers and babies depends on having more than the right health care and interventions. The best facilities, caregivers, and interventions won’t improve maternal and neonatal health care delivery if basic needs for power, water, and sanitation aren’t available. Read more...

All for Mum and Mum for All

By: Christy Turlington Burns, mother, model, film-maker and founder of Every Mother Counts; Originally posted on the Dfid blog

dfid-india.jpgI celebrated the 101st International Women's Day in the halls of the United Nations last week. I followed Twitter, and shared blogs and news stories that collectively called we women to action. When I take a step back, as I did last week, I'm reminded that the "women's rights are human rights" movement is still very much a process in many parts of the world. One thing that I have noticed through filming women around the world is that most of us girls and women are inspired by one another's stories.

Stories create hope. Everywhere I travel, I listen to stories that blow my mind with the courage, personal sacrifices and perseverance of so many women. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: When ‘B+’ is the Best Option

By: Dr. Aoife Kenny 

MalawiAoife.jpgAn estimated 1.5 million HIV-positive women become pregnant every year. Effective treatment is essential for reducing their chance of severe illness or death during pregnancy as well as reducing the chance of infecting their children with HIV. The best way to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) is to ensure that medication is taken throughout the pregnancy and breastfeeding period. PMTCT is an essential component of three Millennium Development Goals: reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS. Read more...


Healthy Mama, Healthy Baby Exhibit Opens

What are the realities of 21st century pregnancy and childbirth? What factors affect if a woman’s labor has a successful, or tragic, outcome? Explore this issue in the Healthy Mama, Healthy Baby gallery in the International Museum of Women’s MAMA: Motherhood Around the Globe exhibition! Facts, art, multimedia, blogs and stories on the site all tell the story of motherhood around the globe.

In the video below, mothers from around the world share their stories of pregnancy and childbirth.

 

Why a Daughter is Not an Apology

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager

AfghanStoning.jpgLast week, 22 year-old Storai Mohammed was strangled to death by her husband and mother-in-law for giving birth to a girl, and not the son they had demanded of her. Her husband fled, but his mother was detained and told police that Storai “felt guilty” for bearing three daughters and committed suicide. 

In Afghanistan, as in many parts of the world, newborn sons are celebrated while girls are met with disappointment, fewer opportunities and a stifling lack of autonomy. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Farming for a Healthier Future

By: Janna Oberdorf, Director of Communications and Outreach for Women Deliver

sweet_potato.jpgAt the Tamlega Dispensary in Chwele, Kenya, pregnant women who arrive for check-ups leave with an unusual prescription: a voucher for sweetpotato vines. The goal is to leverage the untapped potential of sweetpotatoes, a food crop rich in vitamin A, to significantly improve the nutrition, incomes, and food production of farming families in sub-Saharan Africa, especially among impoverished women and children.

The project, “Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health in Africa (SASHA),” was launched in eight sub-Saharan African countries in 2009 by the International Potato Center (CIP), with support from a five-year, $21 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Read more...

Calling All Mothers, Calling All Babies: Introducing HuffPost Global Motherhood

By: Arianna Huffington
Originally posted by: Huffington Post, Global Motherhood 

GlobalMotherhood.jpgI'm delighted to announce the launch of Global Motherhood, a new section within HuffPost Impact dedicated to the health and well being of mothers and babies around the world, and sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. Read more...

New Report Shows Increase In Unsafe Abortion

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager 

Guttmacher.gifThe long-term decline of abortions worldwide has stalled, and unsafe abortions are now on the rise, according to Induced Abortion: Incidence and Trends Worldwide from 1995 to 2008, a report by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization (WHO) published yesterday by The Lancet. After a global decline in abortion rates from 35 per 1000 women in 1995 to 28 in 2008, progress has now stagnated.  The proportion of unsafe abortions out of total abortions has risen from 44% in 1995 to 49% in 2008. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: A Commitment to the Health and Livelihood of India’s Women

By: Lindsey Taylor Wood, Communications Associate 

Zubaida Bai’s relationship with postpartum infection is a personal one. As a consequence of unsanitary birthing conditions and practices, she contracted an infection that led to years of suffering. Rather than allow her misfortune to deter her work, the engineer turned social entrepreneur shifted her time and energy toward developing a clean delivery birthing kit that could help prevent the deaths of the nearly 600,000 women and nine million infants that lose their lives to postpartum infection each year. Read more... 

Where There Are No Doctors, Who Can Deliver Health?

By: Carolyn S. Miles, President and Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children
Originally posted by: Huffington Post Impact

Frontline.jpgWhat do 1) Florence Nightingale, 2) Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and 3) Heathcliff Huxtable have in common? Yes, all are famous health workers. But what more sets them apart from others like Dr. House or Doogie Howser, M.D.?

Tied to this answer is the key to addressing some of the world's greatest health challenges. Read more... 

Celebrate Solutions: Making Maternal Health Affordable for All

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager 

DeLaVega.jpgIn the early 1970s, Guadalupe Arizpe De La Vega read a newspaper article about a poor mother of nine children who was imprisoned after she stabbed herself in the stomach to prevent a tenth pregnancy. After visiting the woman in jail, De La Vega realized how limited information on and access to family planning services were in Mexico, and particularly for poor and marginalized women.  

She then went on to found the private, non-profit Hospital de la Familia, which offers holistic, sliding-scale health care and counseling for the women of Juarez, Mexico. To date, the hospital has treated more than 1.7 million patients and overseen the healthy births of more than 116,000 babies. Read more...

Maternal Health, Family Planning: A Matter of Must

Originally posted by: FrontPage Africa

By: Mae Azango, one of four African journalists to win a prestigious grant from the Pulitzer Center to cover reproductive health issues


MaeLiberia.jpgFamily planning is now a serious problem in Africa, but many women in underdeveloped Countries are denied access to modern contraception due to inadequate supplies and isolation of rural dwellers in most instances. Other women are denied family planning methods because of cultural backgrounds and religious affiliation.

One would ask why family planning is important and should be made an access free service. According to a report conducted by Women Deliver, every year more than 500,000 women and girls die from pregnancy related complications. This has amounted to one death every minute. Read more...

Will You Join Our Conversation on Women’s and Children’s Health?

By: Melinda French Gates
Originally posted by: the Impatient Optimists

GatesKristof.jpgAfter an amazing amount of progress on  women’s and children’s health in 2011, I’m starting off 2012 by heading to Bangladesh. I’ll be learning even more about two of the biggest killers of children—pneumonia and diarrhea. Bangladesh has made incredible progress in recent years, reducing the number of childhood deaths by 65 percent since 1990. I’m excited to learn what they’ve done right and the challenges that remain. 

While in Bangladesh, I’ll be joining Nick Kristof in answering questions from readers about maternal and child health on his New York Times blog “On the Ground.” Why these topics? Read more... 

President Jill Sheffield Announces Partnership With Million Moms Challenge

MillionMoms.pngWomen Deliver is proud to partner with the Million Moms Challenge, a new social media campaign bringing together millions of Americans with mothers in the developing world to share information and solutions relating to healthy pregnancies, deliveries and children. Social media is an effective, far-reaching way to allow moms and maternal health advocates worldwide to discuss critical challenges and life-saving innovations. Read more...

By: President, Jill Sheffield

originally posted on the Million Moms Challenge website. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Grants To Accelerate Mobile Technology Centered on Maternal and Newborn Health

Earlier this month at the mHealth Summit in Washington, DC, the Innovation Working Group, part of the UN Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child Strategy, and the mHealth Alliance announced 8 winners of grants to support mobile health programs. The grants will fund innovative mobile technology projects that have the potential to improve maternal and child health globally.

The projects are based in low-income countries with high maternal and child mortality rates. They aim to improve evaluation design, enhance health information sharing, and increase the capabilities of technologies that help clinical decision-making. Over the two-year grant period, the grantees will build partnerships, scale up their projects to national levels or extend their reach to new communities. The grant program is generously supported by NORAD, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, with technical support from the mHealth Alliance. Read more...

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